Eight athletes were inducted into the 2017 Metro Schools Sports Hall of Fame on April 11. We applaud their achievements in athletics, in business and service to others, and we thank them for years of inspiration and motivation!
They have each earned a place in Nashville history, and we proudly celebrate them:
Catherine Miller-Bowers, Whites Creek High School, Class of 1982
Catherine Miller-Bowers is a 1982 MNPS graduate of Whites Creek Comprehensive High School. Catherine Miller-Bowers excelled in basketball, cross-country and track. Bowers was the 1982 state track champion in the 100m hurdles and was ranked nationally as a top 10 All-American.
She was the 1982 Pentathlon Champion and her record is still standing. In basketball, she was selected All-District and All-Region in her senior year. Bowers attended Arizona State University, where she received numerous awards that included being ranked top 10 in the PAC-10 Conference and NCAA Division I Championship in the 400m hurdles and the triple jump.
In 1987, Bowers had the opportunity to be a graduate assistant coach at Arizona State University where she had the privilege to coach several outstanding athletes for the 1988 Summer Olympics. She is currently working for Metro Schools and coaching track and field at Hume Fogg Academic High School.
Tim Dobbins, Glencliff High School, Class of 2001
Tim Dobbins is a graduate of Glencliff High School and helped lead the Colts to the 1999 TSSAA Class 5A Champion Runner-Up. He was picked by the Tennessee Sports Writers’ Association as a first team All-State Linebacker during his senior year in 2001.
After graduation from GHS, he attended Copiah- Lincoln Community College in 2002-2003 and made all Mississippi Association of Community & Junior College (MACJC) Team both years. Dobbins then attended Iowa State University, where he earned all-Big 12 honors in his senior season. He led the Cyclones to the Houston Bowl in 2005 and to the Independence Bowl in 2004.
Dobbins was selected by the San Diego Chargers 151st overall in the 5th round of the 2006 NFL Draft. During his professional career, Dobbins played with Chargers, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons and the Dallas Cowboys. He is an All American football linebacker whose career NFL statistics as of 2013 included 253 tackles, two quarterback sacks, 12 passes defensed and three interceptions. Dobbins is currently a free agent.
Charlie Fentress, Cohn High School, Class of 1955
Charlie Fentress graduated from Cohn High School in 1955. Fentress was an all-around athlete who excelled in three sports in particular – football, basketball and baseball. He also had a great collegiate career at Belmont College, where he attended on basketball and baseball scholarships. After college, Fentress continued his athletic career by playing in Nashville’s City League and Tri-State leagues.
After college, Fentress went on to serve our city as a firefighter with the Metro Fire Department and retired with 38 years of service.
There were many accomplishments during his playing and coaching tenure. From 1952-1955, Fentress was named to the All District team, Tennessean All-State Basketball team, Banner All-Nashville team, NIL Basketball Champion, team captain, and Banner Weekly All-Nashville. He was co-captain of the football team and was All City Team for this sport as well. He also played baseball and was a member of the TSSAA Regional Baseball Champions and received Banner All-City Baseball Team for three years. Fentress participated in track one year. He was voted Most Athletic Senior Superlative and was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
After high school, Fentress played basketball and baseball for four years at Belmont College and was Basketball MVP and Honorable Mention Basketball College All-Mid State Team.
Fentress also received many awards for his post-college play in the Gilbert League Baseball and City League Baseball leagues. This past January, the prestigious Nashville Old Timers Baseball Association inducted Charlie Fentress into the Nashville Amateur Baseball hall of Fame.
Chris Gaines, DuPont High School, Class of 1983
A multi-talented football and basketball standout at DuPont High school, Chris Gaines developed into one of the most fierce and successful linebackers in SEC history at Vanderbilt. Gaines played quarterback and defensive end at DuPont High for most of his high school football career. At halftime of the first game his senior season, he
was switched from quarterback to tailback and rushed for 200 yards in the second half. It was the beginning of a dominating season in which Gaines was virtually unstoppable at tailback as DuPont’s power run game blossomed into Nashville’s most feared gridiron force.
Another position change in college sparked a record-breaking career at Vanderbilt. Recruited as a fullback, the Commodores switched Gaines to linebacker after a redshirt freshman year. As linebacker, Gaines dominated. He was elected captain his senior season of 1987, and he still holds several Vanderbilt records for most tackles in a game and in a season. Gaines wreaked havoc on college offenses with an amazing 214 tackles, including 136 solo tackles, four sacks, nine tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles. His 214 tackles (an astonishing 19.5 tackles per game) is still the SEC record. He also still holds the Vanderbilt record for most tackles in a game with 37 against Tulane. Perhaps even more impressive is that he played every defensive snap of every game his senior year.
Following the 1987 season, Gaines was named to the Kodak All-American First Team, First Team All-SEC by the AP and UPI, Vanderbilt Athlete of the Year, and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Amateur Athlete of the Year. He participated in the Blue-Gray Bowl, a college all-star game where he finished with 18 tackles and was named MVP. Gaines was also Academic All-SEC in 1986 and has been recognized as one of the SEC Football Legends.
Drafted by the Phoenix Cardinals, Gaines played for the Miami Dolphins in the NFL and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, where he intercepted six passes in 1991 and tied the franchise record for most tackles in a season. His team won the Grey Cup Championship.
Following his playing career, Gaines coached for the Toronto Argonauts and then
for Vanderbilt, where he was named SEC Linebackers Coach of the Year.
Gaines presently serves as owner, president and CEO of CD Medical, Inc.,
a medical sales business.
Walter “Bugs” Jordan, Stratford High School, Class of 1975
Walter (Bugs) Jordan played football and basketball at Hillwood High School from 1971 – 1972 before transferring to Stratford High School from 1972 – 1975. At Stratford, Jordan played football as a safety, wide receiver and running back, and also played basketball and baseball.
Jordan was selected to the All NIL football teams for both his junior and senior years. In his final year at Stratford, Jordan was the recipient of the Lonnie Matthews Award recognizing outstanding sportsmanship and leadership presented by the Stratford School Men’s Club. He was also selected to the TSSAA West All-Star Football Team and elected as Senior Class President for the Class of 1975.
Jordan was recruited to Vanderbilt University by Bill Parcells, a Commodore assistant at the time, and went on to be a three-year starting cornerback from 1976 – 1979.
In 1979, he was named to the Tennessean High School NIL All-Decade Team as a defensive back.
Since graduating college, Jordan has enjoyed a rewarding career with Ally Financial(formally known as G.M.A.C.) for the past 36 years. This career has taken him from Nashville to several locations in Maryland, Tennessee, Missouri and Illinois. Jordan currently resides in Tinley Park, Illinois with his wife, Theresa.
Jeffery O. Powell, Whites Creek High School, Class of 1981
Jeffery Powell was a standout athlete in both high school and college. He graduated from Whites Creek High School and attended the College of William & Mary and later transferred to the University of Tennessee, where he graduated in 1985.
While at Whites Creek, Powell received numerous honors, including being a member of the 400-meter relay team that tied the national high school record, 6 time all-American, 110-meter high hurdles Tennessee State champion, 300-meter intermediate hurdles Tennessee State Champion, Adidas All-American, Banner Trackman of the Year, William P. Lawrence Award winner, plus many more. He also holds the state record in 110-meter high hurdles
In college, Powell continued to achieve accolades by being a member of the U.S. Jr. Pan-American team. He was a silver medalist in the Jr. Pan-Am games in Venezuela (110 meter high hurdles), named to the U.S. Jr. World Team, a gold medalist in the Jr. World Games in Seoul, Korea, and Virginia Collegiate State Champion. Powell set a record at Williams & Mary in the 300 meter and 50 yard dash. He also set an East Coast record in the 55 meter high hurdle. He was on the 1985 SEC Championship teams for track and football. In 1986, he was a sixth round draft pick in the NFL for the Chicago Bears.
In 1992, Powell graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School. His hobbies are golfing and fishing.
“I’ve has a lot of accomplishments in my athletic career, but being inducted into the Metro Nashville Public Schools sports HOF stands a cut above as one of my most cherished,” Powell says.
Joe Shapiro, Alabama, Posthumously
Coach Joe Shapiro graduated from the University of Oklahoma in the 1930’s and returned to Nashville to work on his Masters from Peabody College. He then took a position in Winterboro, Alabama, where he taught and coached in the 1940’s and started coaching at Talladega High School. He had two State Championship football teams there, one in 1945 and the other in 1946.
In 1947 he returned to Nashville and was teacher and Coach at Peabody Demonstration School before going to West End High School. He taught a class and coached at West from 1950 – 1968 when the school was changed to a Junior High. During those years, he was head Coach for football, basketball and baseball, while teaching young men at school who were willing to give their all to practice and play their games he taught. He was always fair in his coaching and left unblemished legacy for all young men to follow.
He had many accomplishments during his coaching career. They are as follows: Basketball – 360 wins, 156 losses (5 District, 2 NIL, 1 Regional and 1 State Championships; Football – 43 wins and 35 losses (2 State Championships); Baseball – Wins 44 and 8 losses (2 NIL and 2 Regional Championships, 1 State Runner-up)
Sam Smith, Jim Hill High School, Class of 1964, Posthumously
Sam Smith was born in Canton, Mississippi, and graduated from Jim Hill High School in Jackson. Upon graduation, Smith attended and graduated from Tennessee State University. He is a member of MNEA, TEA, TSSAA, American Coaches Association, and USATF youth chair for the State of Tennessee. Coach Smith has been a McDonald’s Coach of the Year honoree. He is a personal trainer and a member of 15th Ave. Baptist Church, where he teaches Sunday school.
Early in his career, Smith was the head girls’ track coach, assistant football coach and taught health and physical education at Whites Creek High School. He also served as the head girls’ soccer coach. Later, he taught biology served as head baseball coach at North High School, as well as assistant football coach, and taught biology. Smith later became a trainer and the assistant women’s track coach at Tennessee State University (TSU) under the famous Coach Ed Temple. In 2004, he won the USA Track & Field award and recognition from the National Youth Coaches Association.
In 1988, Smith served as head coach of the United States Men & Women’s Para-Olympics’ track and field teams in Seoul, Korea. In 1990, he was the manager of the South Women’s Olympic Festival track team in Minneapolis. In 1991, he was the head track coach for South Women’s Olympic Festival and Track team in Los Angeles. He is president/founder, head track coach and fundraiser of the Continental T-Belle track club, which is a non-profit helping girls from the Middle Tennessee area develop track skills. He has been the head track & field coach for the Tennessee Amputee team and spent eight years at TSU with the National Youth Sports Program.
Smith serves as director of All Comers Track Meet & South Regional Track & Field Championship. He’s an official in the Track & Field Association (TN National Masters), basketball referee, softball umpire, TN Amputee official, president of USA track & field youth coaches. Coach Smith has championship records dating from 1982 to present. He says, “there is no shortcut to Success.”
Congratulations to the 2017 Sports Hall of Fame inductees!
by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc
Hall of Fame – Honoring the Greats
Awestruck: that’s the best way to describe the North Sports Report as the superstars of the past entered the West Club at LP Field to celebrate five new inductees to the MNPS Sports Hall of Fame. This luncheon is like Disneyland for the North Sports Report! “There’s the great…” or “Look, there’s the legendary…”, or “Here comes the incomparable…” each time another hall of famer arrived.
Those in attendance included the incomparable Barbara Frazier (Pearl High, Class of 1981), Larry Schmittou (Cohn High, Class of 1958), and Bob Dudley Smith (West High, Class of 1948); the legendary Coach Charlie Anderson (Cohn High, Class of 1952); Walter Overton (Pearl High, Class of 1970), and Joe Casey (North High, Class of 1946); and the great Joanne Arnold Tribue (Antioch High, Class of 1978), Porter Williams (Pearl High, Class of 1969), and Jinx Cockerham (Hillsboro High, Class of 1966).
This year’s class adds five extraordinary athletes to the MNPS Sports Hall of Fame:
- Coach Joe Allen led Donelson High and McGavock High to basketball state championships; his teams won more than 500 games; he coached nine All-State players, including NBA champion Charles Davis; and he was named Coach of the Year in 1964, 1972, and 1974. The McGavock High School gym floor is named in his honor.
- Preston Brown (Maplewood, Class of 1976) is considered by many to be the best running back in Nashville prep football history. When his high school career ended, he held the single season and career rushing records, was named All-State and All-America in football and was named the NIL Athlete of the Year. In track, he led Maplewood to the state championship, winning the 100 yard dash and 220 yard dash and anchoring the state champion 440 yard relay team. He went on to star at Vanderbilt (led the SEC in receiving) and still holds the school record for longest kickoff return. He was drafted by the New England Patriots and played four seasons in the NFL.
- John Henderson (Pearl-Cohn, Class of 1997) is included in any discussion of the greatest football players in Nashville history. He played defensive tackle and tight end on two state championship teams. A consensus All-America in high school, Henderson was ranked the top player in the state and 7th best player in the country. He played at the University of Tennessee and again was a consensus All-America, played on the National Championship team, and won the Outland Trophy for being the best lineman in college football. He was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 1st round and played 11 seasons in the NFL including two Pro Bowl appearances.
- Mike Jackson (Stratford, Class of 1973) was All-State, Metro Player of the Year, honorable mention All-America, and MVP of the Tennessee All-Star game during his stellar high school basketball career. At the University of Tennessee, Jackson started and served as captain on one of the most storied basketball teams in SEC history, teaming with Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld on Coach Ray Mears’ “Ernie and Bernie” teams of the 1970’s. His sweet, smooth jump shot and 14.3 per game scoring average convinced the NBA’s Buffalo Braves (now the Los Angeles Clipper) to draft him, and he later played professionally in Europe.
- Frank Pillow, Jr. (Whites Creek, Class of 1983) was a two sport star for the Cobras in the 1980’s, winning the state championship in the long jump and anchoring the mile relay team to a state record time and a team state championship. He was named All-American in the long jump and earned a scholarship to play football at TSU. As a receiver, he led the team in receptions and broke the school record for most receptions and receiving yards in a game with a 12 reception, 242 yard performance during a game his senior year. Pillow was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and had 22 receptions for 420 yards and 2 touchdowns his rookie season. His professional football career included playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Detroit Lions, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL, and the Indianapolis Colts.
The program from the MNPS Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is a treasure trove of information about some of Nashville’s most influential people and greatest student-athletes. The North Sports Report suggests that a copy be available at every high school library.
MNPS: The First Choice for Great, Legendary and Incomparable Students
Spring Has Sprung
Spring Sports are in full swing with Tennis, Track, Soccer, Baseball and Softball. Enjoy the good weather and support our student-athletes by attending a game, match or meet soon.
Philadelphia Bound: Antioch Girls Track Team Headed to Penn Relays
The Antioch Girls’ track team dominated the relay events at last year’s state track meet. We know that good news travels fast, but do you know how far fast news travels? Well, apparently the news of the speed of the Antioch Lady Bears traveled at least as far as Philadelphia, because the organizers of the prestigious Penn Relays, impressed by the speed of the returning Antioch relay teams, invited the Lady Bears to compete with the nation’s best later this month. The City of Brotherly Love will catch only a fleeting glimpse of a blue blur as the Lady Bears fly around the track!
All Mid-State Teams – Winter Sports
The North Sports Report perused Sunday’s edition of the Tennessean and found the All Mid-State teams for winter sports.
Bowling: Cane Ridge Junior Aaron Ruiz made his third straight All Mid-state first team.
Girls Basketball: Hillsboro Senior Nicole Bowers earned a spot on the All Mid-state first team as she prepares to continue her studies at Eastern Kentucky University.
Boys Basketball: Hillsboro Senior Jamontae Davis will take his talents to the Gentry Center and hoop for TSU next year following an outstanding senior season that earned him first team All Mid-state honors. East Nashville Junior Terry Holt attracted attention from college scouts as he played his way to second team All Mid-state honors.
Wrestling: Hillwood Senior Jahmare Anthony pinned down second team All Mid-state honors with an extraordinary season.
Congratulations to all our student-athletes!
Hall of Fame Adds Eight Greats
The Metro Nashville Public Schools Sports Hall of Fame inducted its class of 2013 at a gala luncheon on today in the West Club at LP Field. This year, the inductees include:
- former NFL receiver Randolph Williamson (Pearl)
- multi-sport star and one of Nashville’s all-time fastest athletes Jerry Ballou (Litton)
- the career leader in interceptions at TSU Sonny Lyons (Pearl)
- Baseball great Michael Coleman (Stratford)
- Coach Chuck Lewis attended Madison High and coached Hillsboro and Hunters Lane to a combined seven state championships in track
- Pearl High legend Reginald Hayden
- professional basketball coaching legend Marynell Meadors (Hillsboro) was one of the original coaches in the WNBA and an assistant coach for the gold medal winning 2012 Olympic U.S. Women’s Basketball team
- and honoring the immeasurable contributions of Melvin Black (Pearl).
Congratulations to all the inductees!
MNPS: The First Choice for Scholars and Honors